Comparison of bone-implant contact and bone-implant volume between 2D-histological sections and 3D-SRµCT slices

Eur Cell Mater. 2012 Apr 10:23:237-47; discussion 247-8. doi: 10.22203/ecm.v023a18.


Histological imaging is still considered the gold standard for analysing bone formation around metallic implants. Generally, a limited number of histological sections per sample are used for the approximation of mean values of peri-implant bone formation. In this study we compared statistically the results of bone-implant contact (BIC) and bone-implant volume (BIV) obtained by histological sections, with those obtained by X-ray absorption images from synchrotron radiation micro-computed tomography (SRµCT) using osseointegrated screw-shaped implants from a mini-pig study. Comparing the BIC results of 3-4 histological sections per implant sample with the appropriate 3-4 SRµCT slices showed a non-significant difference of 1.9 % (p = 0.703). The contact area assessed by the whole 3D information from the SRµCT measurement in comparison to the histomorphometric results showed a non-significant difference in BIC of 4.9 % (p = 0.171). The amount of the bone-implant volume in the histological sections and the appropriate SRµCT slices showed a non-significant difference by only 1.4 % (p = 0.736) and also remains non-significant with 2.6 % (p = 0.323) using the volumetric SRµCT information. We conclude that for a clinical evaluation of implant osseointegration with histological imaging at least 3-4 sections per sample are sufficient to represent the BIC or BIV for a sample. Due to the fact that in this study we have found a significant intra-sample variation in BIC of up to ± 35 % the selection of only one or two histological sections per sample may strongly influence the determined BIC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Screws
  • Bone Transplantation / instrumentation
  • Bone Transplantation / methods*
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Implants, Experimental
  • Maxilla / diagnostic imaging
  • Maxilla / growth & development
  • Maxilla / surgery*
  • Models, Anatomic
  • Osseointegration
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Swine
  • Swine, Miniature
  • Synchrotrons
  • Time Factors
  • Titanium
  • X-Ray Microtomography / methods*


  • Titanium